Attachments for reflectance spectroscopy are usually designed with a combination of curved and plane mirrors to satisfy the following requirements: (1) condense the beam to provide more energy to the sample; (2) shift the path of the beam to make it conform to position and orientation requirements imposed by the sample cell. It is usually preferable to design the cell around the spectrometer rather than to modify the spectrometer (by methods including drastic redirection of the optical path) in order to accommodate the cell. However, the cell design is often dictated by the experiment. In any case, one usually strives for the design with the smallest number of components consistent with the requirements stated above, since this minimizes losses from reflecting surfaces and simplifies the alignment procedure. Design considerations are thoroughly discussed in the well-known book by Harrick, and the many solutions to design problems are evident in the wide variety of commercially available internal reflectance attachments.

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